Grading every St. Louis Cardinals player so far: The good, the bad, and the ugly

We're halfway through the MLB regular season. Which Cardinals players have performed the best?
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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S (A+) - Sonny Gray, Willson Contreras, Ryan Helsley, and Masyn Winn

Sonny Gray's dominance has continued after a second-place Cy Young finish in the American League with the Twins last season. Despite missing a few starts early in the season, Gray has been as good as ever, with the 6th lowest ERA in the National League. He had a hiccup midway through the season, but he's figured it out and given the Cardinals their best pitcher since 2019 Jack Flaherty. The Cardinals needed a frontline ace, and they've got one in Sonny Gray.

When Willson Contreras went down with an injury in May, it looked like the Cardinals' season was truly over, as the lineup was struggling and Contreras was the only hitter performing above league average. Contreras was on a tear too, with an OPS in the mid-900s and much improved defensively behind the plate. After fracturing his arm, Contreras returned to action in record time, showing his dedication to winning and to the team. Unfortunately, due to so much missed time, it's unlikely Contreras will make the All-Star team, but it's great to have the starting catcher back for a playoff push in the second half.

Ryan Helsley has broken the Cardinals record for consecutive saves without a blown save at 28. After blowing a save to the Dodgers in game 3 of the season, Helsley hasn't wavered at all. The Cardinals went on to win that game against the Dodgers too, so no harm done, right? While walks have been an issue for him in recent appearances, the Cardinals closer has bent but not broken and has been a critical piece for the team's success so far. Consider him a lock for the All-Star Game.

The emergence of Masyn Winn as a true Rookie of the Year contender has been amazing to watch. After a rough start to his Major League career at the end of 2023, Winn has shown himself as a complete player, hitting with two strikes, playing great defense at shortstop, and even hitting for power when he needs to. The All-Star competition in the National League will be stiff at shortstop, but Masyn Winn has a great chance to be in Arlington for the Midsummer Classic.

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